Living with diabetes brings many challenges, which are amplified when a natural disasters occurs. Natural disasters are not new phenomena. In the period of 2005-2014, an average of 380 natural triggered disasters was registered. They were responsible for about 199.2 million affected people worldwide annually, with economic damages of approximately US$159.7 billion per year.
Timing of the emergency disaster management is crucial, as quick action can save lives. However, a major problem in the response of disaster management is the lack of disaster management policies, protocols for specific conditions and cooperation in and between countries. Natural disasters transcend national borders and in this time and day it is important that everyone is working together to decrease, among others, the health-related impact of a disaster.
Natural disasters have a major impact on people living with diabetes, but they are often not recognised as a priority. Previous disasters have taught us that they bring great damage to life, causing disruption to electricity, water supply, infrastructure, communication, transportation and healthcare services.
There is a need for integrated preparedness and action plans for people living with specific conditions and disease like Diabetes Mellitus. People living with diabetes are a vulnerable group, as they are dependent on the continuous supply of insulin, healthy meals and other diabetes essential medicines and devices.
Therefore, the International Diabetes Federation is developing a global “IDF recommendations for people living with diabetes during disasters”. This comes after the successful implementation of the IDF Western Pacific Region Plan on diabetes in disasters. This global plan will provide assistance, guidance and supporting resources to our national members on how to develop their own diabetes disaster management plan and to adapt strategies for an effective and continued medical care service provision. It also encompasses tools for local health systems and people living with diabetes to prepare themselves for natural disasters as it aims to reduce the aftermath of disaster events on the lives and health of patients with diabetes in both short and long terms.
Here you will find the summaries of the "IDF recommendations for people living with diabetes during disasters", translated into multiple languages, prior to the official launch of the IDF Diabetes in Disaster Management Plan.